Vaccine Facts and Fears

Jack Barkkari

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, vaccines have finally arrived to the general public. Even with the vaccine release, the process afterwards will have its own challenges.

The vaccine is first being distributed to different groups who are most at risk for COVID-19. According to Dr. Rey Panettieri, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Professor of Medicine (Dec. 10),  even with people receiving the vaccine, about 80-90 percent of the people will need to take it to make an impact and help end the pandemic.

“The first group getting the vaccine are health care workers that are at high risk, such as those providing inpatient hospital care such as doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and first responders,” Utica Community School’s District Nurse Rebecca Rosbolt said. “Herd immunity happens when most of a community develops immunity to a disease, either by having the disease and their body developing natural immunity or by receiving a vaccination to the disease. The amount of people with immunity required to achieve “herd immunity” varies depending on the contagiousness of a disease. Because this is a novel (or new) disease, research is still going on to where that percentage falls for COVID-19.”

There are mixed feelings on getting the Coronavirus germ, and people are skeptical.

“As much as my family is scared of the virus, my immediate family will not be taking it,” Ford Sophomore Brooke Felton said. “The flu shot already gives you the flu to build your immunity. Who says this vaccine will not do the same?”

The long pandemic has given students extra motivation to get vaccinated.

“I feel like the pandemic has put a large amount of focus on a vaccine because it is the only way to end all of the crisis going on right now,” Utica Junior Om Bidja said. “A lot of us have not experienced how a pandemic is, and all the craziness that is going on while the virus spreads make the vaccine more important.”

There are opposing viewpoints regarding the pandemic and vaccines.

“I see the length of the pandemic will depend on how long it takes for people to realize that they need to start following the safety measures given,” Ford Sophomore Austin Keech said.  “Also, I believe the vaccine will actually make it worse by making people ignore the truth about what actually needs to happen to get past this. As of right now, I doubt things will ever go back to the way they used to be. We should not be hoping for it to go “back to normal”. Instead, we should embrace this as our new normal for the foreseeable future.”